Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sun January 17 2016

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | January 17, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Flying Fun: Top 5 Airports for Entertainment

    Flying Fun: Top 5 Airports for Entertainment

    Photo via Twitter/hkairport

    For most airports, form follows function. Ambiance takes second place to security measures and institutional grey walls.

    But there are some airports that serve up so much fun, you almost forget about the usual travel headaches. Here are the top five airports from around the world that offer a big dollop of entertainment alongside arrivals and departures.

    Seoul Incheon Airport

    Seoul Airport consistently tops “best airport” lists — and for good reason. There are so many amusements and amenities that you don’t have to actually leave the airport to experience Korean culture.

    Start with the Museum of Korean Culture and browse the exhibits and artifacts displaying the country’s history. Feeling antsy? Take a stroll in the indoor gardens, filled with enough flowers and tropical plants to make you feel like you’re outside in a secluded park. If you get bored, you can grab some action at the casino or up your adrenaline at the indoor ice skating rink.

    Zurich Airport

    Leave it to the Swiss to add a little healthy fun to the airport experience. If you can tear yourself away from the bars of official national chocolate on sale at every concession, you can head up to an observation decks outfitted with multimedia binoculars. You can catch views of airplane landings and panoramas of the skyline. There’s a mini airport for kids and free access to bikes, inline skates and Nordic walking poles to use in the area around the airport. And when you catch the trains between terminals, there’s a recording of Swiss cows mooing that plays before announcements that always cracks me up.

    Hong Kong Airport

    Besides more shopping outlets than your average mall, Hong Kong Airport offers an Aviation Discovery Centre where visitors can learn about Hong Kong aviation developments. There’s also an 18-hole simulated golf course and a giant UA IMAX Theatre that draws all raves.

    Vancouver Airport

    Vancouver Airport has won the title of best airport in North America for six years straight and you have only to step into the open, green space to figure out why. There’s a towering green wall, the largest living wall in North America, which grabs your attention right away. I found it especially soothing to sit near the wall’s plants and waterfalls. I also like the First Nation art that’s scattered around the terminals. But the airport’s most notable offering is the aquarium filled with over 10,000 creatures native to British Columbia.

    Nashville Airport

    They don’t call Nashville “Music City” for nothing and Nashville Airport illustrates that point as soon as you arrive.  You will be greeted with a live band playing before you can reach baggage claim and because it’s Nashville, it will be polished, concert-worthy music.

    The airport boasts four stages and hosts 80-100 different bands from all genres, all year. And if you get tired of the music, there are also public art displays and exhibits.


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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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